'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Men-or-ladies-welcome; They Came

Most of you will have seen from Bertie's post last week, that there have been visitors.

Lady and Man were let off-leash from Canada, mainly to visit the Baltic states via ship and other means. They did, though, tag on an extra week to come and play with yours truly here in the Bonny Land. It was just too close not to make the most of the opportunity and for that, I am most grateful.

I had first met Kristen and Drew (and Lee and Phod) when at the B.A.R. two years back. It was very exciting for me to think that I could host them this year. Part of the interest was that Kristen's father had been working on the genealogy of their entire family and there was a strong connection through his grandmother to a part of the Scottish Borders not very far from my own birthplace! In the couple of weeks leading up to their trip, Kristen passed on info from 'dad' about the line and what sort of gaps he had. Then another email later came with specific questions. I couldn't help myself, of course, and got quite deep into researching what I could on that specific part of the tree. Much of that confirmed what had already been discovered and one or two interesting other things arose.

When K&D landed on the 9th, things were not smooth - their larger luggage having gone astray. Reports were made and forms filled and then we headed to my father's place where we were staying until the Sunday. A quick laundry of existing items and a visit to the local clothes store for emergency stuff filled up much of the rest of Thursday.

Breakfast on Friday was at 8am and we were out the door by 9am to head down to Galashiels. Our first port of call was the family history place to check for records not yet accessed by 'dad' or myself.

Muggins here had managed to not double-check the address - sigh - so it took the best part of an hour to locate that office, but once we did we had a warm welcome from the two research volunteers who were able to bring forth some confirmation items 'dad' had wanted, as well as reveal a couple of things not previously thought about. Kristen and I were quite happy and cheerful about all this. Drew was very patient.

Lunch was obtained surprisingly easily right there in Galashiels at a pub which prepared food under the banner of a UK chain which is reliable and caters for food allergies and preferences.

Back into L'il Ren and off we drove to reach the target town and cemetery in search of headstones. I held my breath a bit, as it was quite a large area and the stones were rather poorly for the most part. However, it was only three rows in that I cried out to Kristen "Found them!" There is one character among the many who is the anchor and I am sure it won't be minded that I mention Thomas Gibson, Shoemaker. He loomed large in the search and by this time I had grown rather fond of him!!!

From there, we head up via Duns over the top back to Humbie and The Soutra Aisle, before heading back to father's for a relaxed evening. I planned to get Drew to a couple of castles on Saturday, as he had been so patient with us for this family connections thing. More on that soon; tomorrow, the 'me-now-views' will be the Friday piccies!

Here's the route we took (minus the little link from Gala to the A68 at the bottom...

MenoSundays; Life Lived Lovingly

You can read a little more about Malala HERE. You can help, not just with pencils and books, but blankets and much more... see how...